Having a side-job in the Netherlands

Are you from the EU/EEA or Switzerland?

If you are from the EU/EEA or Switzerland you are free to work without restrictions. You do not need a work permit. The only restrictions for you are the restrictions and rules stipulated by Dutch law in the WorkingHours Act (ATW). The most important general points in this act are summarized under the title ‘Working Hours Act’.

Are you from outside Europe?

If you are not from the EU/EEA or Switzerland, there are some restrictions if you want to work alongside your studies. Your employer has to provide you with a personal work permit. You can only work if you have this specific work permit and can either work for a maximum of 16 hours a week during the year, or fulltime during the months of June, July and August.

Work permit application

Your employer has to apply for your work permit (TWV) at least 5 weeks prior to the start of your employment.The application is free of charge. You cannot apply for the permit yourself, but you can ask your employer for a copy. The organization that issues work permits is called the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV). The TWV is issued exclusively for the type of work and the employer mentioned on the document itself. If your employer was not issued a work permit for you or if you work for more hours than allowed, then you are working illegally. In case of an infringement, the Inspectorate SZW contacts the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). The IND will contact the educational institute where you are

studying to monitor your study progress. You need to obtain at least 50% of the required credits for each academic year to maintain your residence permit.

Work on a self-employed basis

In combination with your studies, you are allowed to work in the Netherlands as a self-employed individual, as long as you continue to meet the requirements for your residence permit for study. There is no limit to the amount of hours that you are allowed to work as a self-employed individual. Also, you do not need a work permit. You are, however, subject to the general laws and regulations as stated in the Working Hours Act. The most important general points in this act are summarized under the title ‘Working Hours Act’.


Working Hours Act

In principle the Working Hours Act applies for everyone who works for an employer, so for all employees, including interns, temporary employees and seconded employees. In a number of cases the Working Hours Act also applies for the self employed. This is the case for situations in which the safety of third parties is also at stake, such as in transport sectors.

The most important general rules in this act are:

  • You can legally work a maximum of 12 hours per shift.
  • If you work a shift of more than 5,5 hours then you have the right to a 30 minute (unpaid) break, which you may also split into two breaks of 15 minutes.
  • If you work for more than 10 hours, he must have at least 45 minutes of break time. This may be split into several breaks, each of which must be at least 15 minutes.
  • In the event of on-call duty and standby duty, the hours during which an employee can be called are not considered working hours.
  • You must be informed of what times you must work four days in advance at the latest by the employer.

The entire working hours act can be found here: https://www.inspectorateszw.nl/binaries/inspectorateszw/documents/publications/2010/02/15/the-working-hours-act/The-Working-Hours-Act_tcm335-365981.pdf